Mixed Berry Shrub
Making a shrub is an easy and delicious way to add a unique flavor boost to your favorite drinks. A shrub, also known as drinking vinegar, is essentially a fruit-infused vinegar syrup that can be used in cocktails or mocktails alike. It’s incredibly simple to make at home with just three ingredients: fresh berries, sugar, and vinegar. The combination of sweet and tart makes this concoction ideal for creating refreshing summer beverages like spritzers or slushies. In addition to its culinary uses, shrubs are packed with antioxidants from the berries which can help promote good health! With just 15 minutes of effort and some basic kitchen supplies you can have homemade shrub ready in no time – so let's get started!
How to Make Mixed Berry Shrub
Gather your mixed berries and cut them into quarters and halves. Transfer to a jar or sealed container, and then add in your vinegar and stir to combine. Seal the container and let it sit at room temperature for about a day. To tell if it's ready, shake your container a couple of times; the berries should be very soft and falling apart.
Remove your new fruit mixture from your container and strain through a fine-mesh colander into a bowl. If you want to have a very fine syrup, line your colander with cheesecloth. Discard your fruit once finished straining.
Next, add your sugar. You can adjust the shrub by adding in more sugar or vinegar to your liking. Shrubs typically are a good balance of both, but note it should have a hard-punching taste as it is intended to be mixed and watered down in a beverage.
Time to get creative! Shrubs can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways but our favorite requires 2 Tbsp of your shrub syrup poured over a glass with ice, and then top with sparkling water. Garnish with some berries of your choice and enjoy!
Ingredients (Serves 5):
- 6 oz. Mixed Berries (any berry you can think of; raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
- 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup Vinegar (Dealer's choice! Some common vinegar to choose from are red wine, white wine, apple cider, or white balsamic)
- Sparkling Water
- Soda Maker (Any Kind!)
What is a Shrub?
Shrubs are an essential part of cocktail and mocktail culture and come in various forms. The most common way to enjoy a shrub is as a syrup or concentrate that can be added to drinks for flavor. Shrubs can be made with any type of fruit combination you like, making them incredibly versatile drinks!
Shrubs are usually made with vinegar, and the type of vinegar used can vary depending on the desired flavor. Common types of vinegar that can be used include red wine, white wine, apple cider, or white balsamic. The acidity in the vinegar helps to bring out the sweetness and tartness of the fruit in combination with the sugar.
Shrubs have become popular because they are a great way to add unique flavor to beverages without relying on artificial ingredients or preservatives. They also tend to be relatively low in calories and can be used as an alternative sweetener for those looking for healthier options. Plus, who doesn’t love fun fruity drinks?!
They are usually stored in the refrigerator to keep them fresh and can last up to a few months. Shrubs can be used in classic cocktails such as Margaritas, or made into mocktails with sparkling water. The possibilities are endless when it comes to shrubs!
So what makes a shrub special? Not only do they have a unique flavor profile that combines sweet and tart notes, but they are also rich in antioxidants due to the use of berries. Shrubs have been around since the 1700s, and are still being enjoyed today.
What Are The Health Benefits of Shrubs?
Beyond their delicious flavor and versatility in beverages, shrubs offer some health benefits due to the presence of berries and vinegar. Berries are known to be rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C and various phytochemicals, which can help protect cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Antioxidants play a vital role in promoting overall health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Moreover, vinegar, a key ingredient in shrubs, has been associated with several health benefits. Studies suggest that vinegar may help regulate blood sugar levels, which could be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those trying to manage their blood glucose levels. Additionally, vinegar consumption has been linked to improved feelings of fullness and satiety, potentially aiding in weight management and controlling appetite.
By incorporating homemade shrubs into your beverage routine, you can enjoy a refreshing and flavorful drink while reaping some of the health benefits your body naturally requires. Although, we do recommend consuming in moderation if you are watching your sugar intake.
Related Read: What Are the Benefits of Drinking Sparkling Water?
Can I Use Flavored Sparkling Water?
To put it plainly, yes you can, however, we do not recommend it. Shrubs are very dense in flavor profiles, so mixing in a variety of flavors typically found in store-bought seltzers can result in a hodge-podge of palette flavors.
We do recommend using homemade sparkling water for a variety of reasons; the main one being you can customize the amount of carbonation using a home soda machine. Additionally, instead of buying seltzer water from the store, you can save money in the long run by reusing and swapping out the CO2 canisters typically used in soda machines. This approach is also better for the environment.
Start exchanging your CO2 canisters today with Soda Sense Refill Club!
Experimenting with Herb-Infused Shrubs
While a mixed berry shrub is delicious on its own, why not take your shrub-making skills to the next level by experimenting with herb-infused shrubs? Adding fresh herbs to your homemade shrubs can introduce unique flavor combinations that will enhance your beverages and leave you feeling like a pro. Did someone say, pro-shrub mixologist??
To make an herb-infused shrub, follow the same recipe listed above:
- Start by gathering your choice of herbs, such as basil, mint, thyme, or rosemary, and combine them with the berries before adding the vinegar.
- The herbal infusion will infuse the vinegar with aromatic flavors, giving your shrub a more complex and intriguing taste.
- Enjoy diluted or mixed with a tasty gin-based cocktail!
From one shrub mixologist to another, a basil and strawberry shrub pairs exceptionally well with gin, and a mint and blackberry shrub goes wonderfully with rum or vodka. Don't be afraid to experiment and get creative with different herb and fruit combinations – the possibilities are limitless!
What Are Some Cocktails I Can Make With My Mixed Berry Shrub?
Mixed berry shrub is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of cocktails. Here are some of our favorite recipes:
- Margarita: Combine 1 part mixed berry shrub with 2 parts tequila, 1/2 part lime juice, and a dash of orange liqueur. Shake with ice and serve over the rocks or straight up.
- Cosmopolitan: Combine 1 part mixed berry shrub with 2 parts vodka, a splash of cranberry juice, and a splash of orange liqueur. Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.
- Mojito: Muddle some fresh mint leaves in the bottom of your glass then add 1 part mixed berry shrub, 2 parts white rum, and top it off with sparkling water.
- Sangria: Mix together 1 part mixed berry shrub, 2 parts red wine, a splash of orange juice, and a splash of club soda. Serve over ice and garnish with some fresh berries for an elegant twist on sangria.
Related Read: Sparkling Cocktail Recipes